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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Rachel E A Horak
GEN ST 197
Seattle Campus

Freshman Seminar

Small-group discussion with faculty representing a wide spectrum of academic disciplines. Topics and approaches vary. Instructor may introduce research techniques or findings, concentrate on readings in his/her area of interest, or illustrate problems and alternatives related to the study of a particular academic discipline. Credit/no-credit only. Offered: AWSp.

Class description

Problems facing natural scientists in this century are becoming increasingly complex and depend upon proper training of the next generation of scientists in applied skills, such as time management, library and internet research, teamwork, communication. In this course, freshmen will learn skills that are beyond the scientific curriculum to help them in the transition to college science. Content is partially determined by student choice, but is expected to touch upon current and complex hot topics facing natural scientists, such as the presence of extraterrestrial life, climate change, and emerging diseases. This course is ideal for freshmen who are interested in natural science majors.

Student learning goals

Students will be able to critically analyze and write reflectively about a science article in the media from their chosen field.

Students will be able to create a time management plan and begin the process of implementing time management skills.

Students will participate as an effective member of a team to produce and deliver high quality and professional presentations.

Students will improve their use of technology and the library to aid in college-level scientific research.

Students will identify synergistic activities (beyond coursework) on the UW campus that may help the student to examine and prepare for a scientific career.

Students will be able to integrate knowledge across scientific fields to improve their comprehension of hot topics in science.

General method of instruction

Instruction will be student-centered and be highly reliant on active learning. There will be a handful of mini-lectures, but the majority of in-class instruction will be student-led.

Recommended preparation

An interest in and curiosity for the natural sciences.

Class assignments and grading

Assignments will be varied, and may include individual outside of class readings, teamwork, short writing assignments (in class and outside of class), presentations, class discussions. There will be no formal tests nor exams.

Course is credit/non-credit basis, no letter grades are assigned.


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Rachel E A Horak
Date: 09/30/2011